The Central Election Commission (CEC) has refused to register the “Republic” campaign group established by Musavat Party in connection with the Sept 26 referendum, Musavat Chairman Arif Hajili has said.
According to Hajili, CEC justified its decision by arguing that the number of valid signatures for the registration of the “Republic” campaign group was less than required.
According to CEC decision, 3,604 of all signatures presented by Musavat Party were invalid and when they are subtracted from the total, the remaining signatures were not sufficient for the registration of the group.
“With this behaviour the authorities once again revealed their intention to conduct the referendum underhand like a theft operation. But it does not discourage us from continuing the struggle. We will double our attention to mass public rallies and observation activity. We will not allow the country to be turned away from the republican values,” Arif Hajili said.
Background: The timeframe for collecting 40,000 signatures required for the registration of a campaign group ended on August 22. CEC has registered only 3 campaign groups for the referendum; ruling New Azerbaijan Party’s “New Azerbaijan” initiative group, and two other groups called “Municipality” and “Civil Society.” All three groups will advocate in favour of the amendments. Among the political groups opposing the amendments, the National Council decided to boycott the referendum right from the start. REAL Movement also announced giving up signature collection as a result of government pressures on August 22. The referendum on amendments to the Constitution will be held on September 26.